This tag was going around on booktube a while ago and I’ve finally got around to writing up my own answers for it. Jean Bookishthoughts‘s video was the one that made me want to do this post, all about 5 books that I have particularly vivid memories of where I was and what I was doing around the time that I read them.
Harry Potter And The Chamber Of Secrets, JK Rowling
I don’t remember receiving The Philosopher’s Stone, nor do I remember reading it for the first time. I think I must have read it back in 1999, however, because for my birthday that year, my parents gifted me both The Chamber of Secrets and The Prisoner of Azkaban – the only other books that had been published at the time. I must have been keeping on about them, because one morning before school my Mum brought Chamber of Secrets out of her wardrobe, wrote an inscription right in front of me, and gave me the book before my birthday,
The Fiery Cross, Diana Gabaldon
When I was thirteen, my family and I travelled to Italy. We had spent a week or so in Tuscany and were driving down to Rome for a week. It was during this trip that I read The Fiery Cross for the first time. And I remember it vividly because there is an especially tense scene featuring a hanging that had me on the edge of my seat as my Dad attempted to navigate the tiny, narrow streets in an effort to find our accommodation.
The Complete Works Of Oscar Wilde
I bought a three volume set of Oscar Wilde’s complete works shortly before I went to Germany on exchange when I was fifteen. I took the books with me and read the Plays volume on a road trip to the south of the country during the Easter break. I don’t remember where we went exactly, nor what we did especially, but I do remember reading and loving Oscar Wilde’s plays.
Empire Of The Sun, JG Ballard
When I was seventeen or eighteen, we travelled to Cardiff by train. To pass the time, we all brought out books and mine was Empire Of The Sun. The carriage was quiet and there was something about the motion of the train and the countryside moving past the window that coupled beautifully with the isolation experienced by the main character and helped the events of the novel stick with me. Of course, being able to read the novel in one sitting probably helped.
Kane & Abel, Jeffrey Archer
And finally, Kane & Abel. I was visiting my friend in Germany and she had to work one day. So I hung about in town and wandered around and looked in the shops and went for a coffee and eventually it was time to swing by her restaurant for the end of her shift. I got there a few minutes early and pulled out my book. The minutes ticked by. A good half hour or so later, my friend found me, and told me she has to stay an hour later. Well, fine, I’ll order a drink and keep reading. AN HOUR LATER she tells me she has to stay on even later and, long story short, I managed to finish the book. Not all in one sitting, but I did get a Hell of a lot of reading done sitting waiting for her.